Do you know your roommates? One house of Ohio State students didn’t.
Some OSU students discovered they had an additional roommate living with them recently — one they had no idea was there.
The roommates thought a locked door in the basement led to a utility closet. When maintenance workers knocked the door down, they found a bedroom complete with framed photographs and textbooks, said Jimmy Alderman, a fourth-year in civil engineering.
The residents had the locks changed that night and posted a note asking their houseguest to call them, said resident Brett Mugglin, a fourth-year in computer science and engineering. A man named Jeremy contacted them and then moved his belongings out of the room.
“He was a nice enough guy,” Mugglin said. “He just wasn’t supposed to be there.”
Ten students live on the second and third floor of the house under one lease, and the first floor is leased to five other people.
During the summer, Mugglin walked into the basement and encountered a man who said he had wondered when he was going to meet the new residents of the house. When asked if he lived on the first floor, the man skirted around the question, Mugglin said. Mugglin later identified that man as their unexpected houseguest, Jeremy.
NorthSteppe Realty is the leasing company of the home, which is located on 13th Avenue. The company changed the locks the night Jeremy was discovered but has done little else, said resident Mark Hartman, a fourth-year in civil engineering.
“They hadn’t changed the locks from the year before,” Hartman said, “and the keys don’t say ‘do not duplicate.’ There could be hundreds of people with keys to the house.”
Mugglin shared his roommate’s discontent.
“I have nothing nice to say about NorthSteppe,” Mugglin said.
NorthSteppe Realty did not return The Lantern’s request for comment.
Jeremy’s cousin lived in the house the year before, which is how he got in, according to the housemates.
Some of the housemates went to Student Legal Services for assistance and said they were referred to a firm that specializes in housing contracts. NorthSteppe is waiting for the residents to propose a settlement for the damages, Alderman said.
“It was a dangerous situation,” Alderman said. “It could definitely have been a lot worse.”